Jew(ish): A Primer, a Memoir, a Manual, a Plea
What does it mean to be Jew(ish) in 2020? Caught between tradition and modernity, between a Jewish family and a non-Jewish son, Matt Greene ponders the big questions concerning identity, religion, family and Seinfeld.
When his son was born to a non-Jewish mother, Matt began to consider the upbringing he'd put behind him--the sense of not belonging, the forbidden foods, the holidays that felt more like punishments. There are more types of Jew than there are bagel fillings, and for every two there are three opinions. But if you're not a black-hatted frummer, if you're allergic to groups, if you observe but don't believe, or you don't observe at all, does that make you less Jewish?
In this wide-ranging series of essays, at turns irreverent, insightful, urgent and iconoclastic, Matt considers what might loosely be termed 'the modern Jewish experience', and asks what it means to be anything in a world obsessed with the self and the other.